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Bag a bargain online this week in the Black Friday sales

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Cash-strapped Aussies will be turning to sales such as Black Friday to scoop bargains as new research from comparison site finder.com.au shows one in two of us are looking to cut costs this Christmas.

According to the new survey one in five Australians (22%) plan to shop on Black Friday - equivalent to 4.1 million Australian adults.

While it's traditionally a post-Thanksgiving sale in the US, more and more Aussie retailers are participating in the event, both online and off.

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In fact, finder.com.au forecasts that Aussies will spend at least $200 million on Black Friday purchases this year.

Bessie Hassan, money expert at finder.com.au, says while the shopping event has well and truly arrived down under, many still haven't heard of the sale and they could be missing out.

"The severe price cuts that come with Black Friday have been known to send bargain hunters into chaotic shopping brawls overseas," she says.

"While that is the extreme, December is notoriously the most expensive time of year, so these sales are a great opportunity to save on Christmas shopping."

The national survey of 2010 respondents reveals that 56% don't wait for sales and just buy goods or clothing as they need, while 9% prefer to wait for Boxing Day sales.

A further 13% said they don't know what Black Friday is.

"Aussies still see Boxing Day as one of the best days to score the biggest bargains, but we love a sale so I'd expect Black Friday to grow," Hassan says.

Tips and tricks for shopping on Black Friday

  1. Start browsing now

Regardless of what is on the Christmas list, take time now to find what stores have the gifts you're after. If you're looking to pick something up for yourself, start bookmarking your favourite items for a speedy check-out once the offer comes through.

  1. Check the shipping details

If you're shopping on an overseas website, make sure to check if the retailer ships to Australia before browsing - there's no point in getting excited over a deal only to find you can't actually receive it. That being said, there are options such as Australia Post's ShopMate service which you can use.

  1. Sign up to newsletters

Signing up to a handful of retailers' newsletters can be worth your while to stay on top of deals. They sometimes offer special discounts to subscribers or update shoppers when new styles are added.

  1. Shop around

On the day, shop around in case you find a better deal elsewhere. For example, the same item at David Jones could be cheaper on another website that's online only.

  1. Be cautious with electronics

Again with overseas websites, remember that some electronics might not work. Buying a transformer for the appliance to work is likely to outweigh the saving.

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